Skip to Content

The Complete Guide to Tokyo for Digital Nomads (& Remote Workers)

Tokyo is a vibrant and exciting city that has become a popular destination for digital nomads. With its fast-paced atmosphere, diverse cultural offerings, and world-class technology, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to work and live in this bustling metropolis.

digital nomad guide to tokyo

In this guide, we will dive into everything a digital nomad needs to know about living in Tokyo and being a digital nomad in Japan. From finding long-term accommodation to navigating the city’s public transportation system, and taking a look at the best neighborhoods.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a newcomer to Japan, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your experience in Tokyo a memorable one.

Can I Be a Digital Nomad in Tokyo? 

Yes, you can be a digital nomad in Tokyo. The city has a thriving startup scene and many co-working spaces and countless work-friendly cafes, making it a popular destination for digital nomads.

There currently isn’t a visa for remote workers (though you may be able to qualify for their artist visa) so most digital nomads are staying under the 90-day tourist visa if their passport allows it.

Though being a digital nomad in Japan is incredibly exciting (especially if you love food!), and there’s always something new to get up to, it is definitely one of the more expensive cities to be based in so keep that in mind when planning your budget.

remote working in tokyo

Here are a few of the reasons remote workers have been flocking to Japan:

High-speed Internet and technology: Tokyo is a hub for technology and innovation, and digital nomads will find that the city offers fast and reliable internet connectivity, as well as a wide range of co-working spaces and technology-focused events.

Diverse and dynamic cultural offerings: Tokyo is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, with endless museums, galleries, and temples to explore. From traditional Japanese art and architecture to intriguing contemporary art, there’s something for everyone in this city.

Accessible and efficient transportation: The public transportation system in Tokyo is incredibly efficient and convenient, making it easy for digital nomads to get around the city, and beyond, and explore its many offerings.

Affordable and varied housing options: While housing in Tokyo can be expensive, there are a variety of affordable and long-term housing options available for digital nomads, including shared apartments, co-living spaces, and budget-friendly hotels.

Thriving business and startup communities: Tokyo is a hub for businesses and startups, with a growing community of entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. Digital nomads will find a wealth of networking and collaboration opportunities, as well as a supportive and inspiring community of like-minded individuals.

Access to nature and travel: Tokyo has a number of famous parks and gardens that allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With the fantastic transportation service, you also have access to world-class hiking and skiing opportunities. Hiking Fuji or visiting Kyoto or Nara for a weekend is always an option.

There really are endless things to do in Tokyo.

Best Neighborhoods in Tokyo for Digital Nomads

Tokyo is big, unfathomably big, so picking the right neighbourhood to stay in Tokyo can be daunting. Each neighborhood in Tokyo offers a different experience and ultimately caters to different interests, making it important to choose the one that best fits your lifestyle, budget, and needs.

tokyo neighbourhoods

Despite being the biggest city in the world, Tokyo is incredibly clean and generally very quiet outside of busy areas such as Shibuya. The chances of you finding a quiet area to live in are high.

Because Tokyo is so well-connected by metro. If you would rather stay cheaper location then basing yourself near a station on one of the major rail lines such as the JR Yamanote Line or Tokyo Metro Ginza Line means you will be able to reach any neighborhood quickly and easily.

I personally lived quite far out in the suburbs of the city but could still be in Shinjuku within half an hour thanks to the express lines.

Here is an overview of some of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo:

Shibuya: Known for its bustling streets and shopping, Shibuya is a popular district among young people and digital nomads. It is also a transportation hub, making it easy to get around the city and there will be plenty to do when you finish working.

Roppongi: A cosmopolitan district known for its nightlife, international dining options, and upscale shopping. It is also home to several embassies, making it a hub for westerners living in Japan.

Shinjuku: This busy neighborhood serves as a commercial and administrative center but retains a lot of old Tokyo charm. It offers a diverse range of dining and entertainment options, as well as plenty of co-working spaces and cafes.

Daikanyama: Known for its upscale boutiques, coffee shops, and independent bookstores, Daikanyama is a stylish area that attracts a more laid-back and creative crowd of digital nomads.

Nakano: A less touristy neighborhood that offers a more affordable cost of living compared to central Tokyo. It is known for its shopping street and unique food options.

Koenji: Koenji is a trendy area known for its vintage shops, second-hand stores, and live music scene. It is popular among young people and budget-conscious digital nomads.

Setagaya: Setagaya is a residential place to live with a laid-back atmosphere offering affordable housing options and a quieter environment compared to the more central areas of Tokyo.

Kichijoj: A popular neighborhood located in the western suburbs of Tokyo. It offers affordable housing options, a beautiful park, and a lively shopping and dining district.

How to Find Long-Term Accommodation in Tokyo?

tokyo accommodation

Decide on a budget and location: Determine how much you are willing to spend on housing and what neighborhoods you are interested in living in. Then start your online research.

Online resources such as, Airbnb, and social media groups like the Tokyo Expat Network Accommodation and Roommate Finder on Facebook can be great options for finding available housing options.

Definitely consider a shared apartment. Sharing an apartment in Tokyo with other professionals is perfectly normal due to high costs so can be an ideal way to live in the city on a budget.

It also offers an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. There are companies such as Oakhouse and Sakura House that are set up especially to offer short-to long-term shared housing.

You can also look at formal coliving spaces such as Tokyo Chapter in Roppongi and Outsite which are setup with digital nomads and remote workers in mind and often offer a host of benefits.

Tip: If you are looking for a Tokyo hotel or hostel while you are looking, here are some favourites.

Cost of Living in Tokyo

In Japan, the local currency is yen (¥) and is still a very cash-reliant society.

The cost of living in Tokyo is considered to be quite high. Housing costs can be particularly expensive, but the cost of food, transportation, and entertainment can also really add up.

However, there are ways to keep costs down, such as using public transportation instead of taxis, eating at local cafes, restaurants, and convenience stores instead of high-end establishments, and taking advantage of free or low-cost nature and cultural events.

Typically a meal out will cost you around $17 and rent will be approximately $2000 upwards. You should budget for a minimum of $3000 a month, if possible.

Cafés and Coworking Spaces in Tokyo

Cafes and Coworking are the obvious go-to spot for cracking down on some work and Tokyo has a lot of options. Almost all cafes provide free Wi-Fi, so there should not be any issues accessing the


Wherever you are based in Tokyo, chain cafes like Doutor, Cafe de Crie, Streamer Cafe, and Tully’s will usually have a section of seats that have power outlets (usually built into the table). Many Starbucks don’t have outlets so check before you order!

cafes in tokyo

Here are some independent cafes that are also great options.

Anjin Lounge: Conveniently located in Shibuya, this classy and artsy cafe fits the character of the area perfectly. Nestled on the second floor of an equally elegant bookstore, you will undoubtedly be inspired while working in this space.

Paper Back Café: An ideal spot for any book lovers, this a cosy little café can be found in Kanda district in Tokyo. Adorably located in a jointly shared bookshop named ‘Books Tokyodo’ you will have nothing but peace and quiet when working here.

Roastery by Nozy Coffee (Harajuku): This café on Harajuku’s Cat Street offers great coffee, pleasant outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi, and a vibrant atmosphere. They serve high-quality single-origin coffee and have counters available with power outlets.

Trunk Hotel Lounge: A favourite work spot for many, the cafe in the hotel lobby of the Trunk Hotel offers a calm and beautiful workspace with outlets and delicious coffee.

Coworking Spaces

Tokyo is home to numerous coworking spaces, catering to a diverse range of professionals and creatives. Here are a few of the popular coworking spaces in Tokyo:

    Blink Community Coworking: A sleek, modern coworking space, which offers a variety of work environments from private rooms, and traditional cubicle-style rooms to even a rooftop terrace. Aimed towards building a friendly working atmosphere.

    Work Court: A modern coworking space located in bustling Shibuya, just a few minutes walk from the station. The space is designed to provide a professional and collaborative environment for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. They regularly host events and workshops to learn and network with other professionals.

    Kant Common Cafe : Located in Roppongi, this shared office and co-working space designed for ‘mindful creatives’ has a cafe, bar, and music lounge on its ground floor.

    WeWork: WeWork is a global coworking chain with multiple locations in Tokyo, offering a range of flexible membership options and amenities.

    Working in Tokyo’s Internet cafe hotels

    Internet cafe hotels in Tokyo offer a unique and convenient solution for digital nomads seeking affordable accommodations.

    internet cafe
    Booth Netcafe & Capsule

    Two of the most popular and cost-effective options are Booth Netcafe & Capsule and Manboo Internet Café Hotel. With the option to rooms or. capsules for a specified period or overnight stays, they provides a full PC setup for those unable to use their personal devices.

    Classified as budget hotels, they offer additional amenities such as showers, washing machines, and dryers, making them suitable for stays longer than a single night.

    Although stays are limited to a maximum of two weeks, they serve as a valuable option for individuals searching for temporary housing while working in the city.

    Tip: Karaoke room chains also have private rooms, all-you-can-drink, and free Wi-Fi. Though you will be sitting on a sofa rather than a desk.

    Working at convenience stores in Tokyo

    When you need some Wi-Fi and a spot to work immediately or want to answer some emails or just get some admin done, then the trusty convenience store can be a perfect option.

    Almost all of them have Wi-Fi you can freely use and the larger ones will have seating areas with outlets.

    convenience tore tokyo

    Even though it may not be the most comfortable place for a digital nomad, you have a whole store that offers everything from hot and cold drinks, to snacks and hot food on a budget to help you power through your ongoing tasks.

    On top of that, they typically have a printer, so if you ever had to get something printed as part of your work, then you are able to.

    The biggest convenience store chains in Tokyo are Seven-Eleven, Lawsons, and Family Mart which also has vegetarian-only stores.

    Getting Around in Tokyo as a Digital Nomad

    The public transportation system in Tokyo is efficient, convenient, and well-organized, making it a great option for digital nomads.

    It can be a little daunting at first so having an app on your phone that will tell you exactly where you need to go is helpful, as will giving yourself more time than you think you need.

    Some of the stations are huge and notorious for getting lost in, like Shibuya! You just need to make sure you follow the signs for transfers carefully, and if in doubt you can ask for help.

    tokyo metro

    Tip: An app such as NaviTime will also help you with fare prices which can vary on different lines and routes.

    You will want to pick up a travel card and top it up, even if you are staying for a month it will make your life significantly easier. You can even use it to pay for things at convenience stores!

    Suica or Pasmo cards can be used on all Tokyo metro and train lines, as well as buses and taxis. You can purchase and recharge these cards at train station ticket vending machines and they don’t expire.

    Simply touch it to the reader at the ticket gate to enter the station. When you board the train or bus, touch your card to the reader again to pay the fare.

    Some of Tokyo’s most popular subway lines:

    Tokyo Metro Ginza Line: The Tokyo Metro Ginza Line is a major subway line that runs through central Tokyo and serves popular neighborhoods such as Shibuya, Ginza, and Asakusa.

    Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line: The Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line runs from Tokyo Station to Nakano, connecting major business and shopping districts in the city.

    Toei Oedo Line: The Toei Oedo Line is a circular subway line that serves popular areas such as Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Akasaka.

    Toei Asakusa Line: The Toei Asakusa Line connects central Tokyo to the popular tourist destination of Asakusa.

    JR Yamanote Line: The JR Yamanote Line is a circular line that runs through central Tokyo and serves major train stations and shopping areas.

    Do I Need to Learn Japanese to Live in Tokyo?

    Generally speaking, you can absolutely get by in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka with just English and all signs are bilingual so using the trains and metro will be fine.

    You may have problems if you visit some smaller towns and cities and don’t know any Japanese.

    Learning some basic phrases on an app such as Duolingo or Memrise will go a long way. You’ll also be amazed how much easier your life will be just learning to read katakana as these words are likely to be ‘imported’ words and will generally be recognizable to English speakers e.g hoteru (ホテル) for hotel.

    This will get you further than you may expect and will be very handy for many situations.

    We hope this guide to being a digital nomad in Tokyo was helpful to you! If you’re interested in learning about working remotely in other Asian countries, you might be interested in reading about the best cities in Southeast Asia or discover which Asia visa is right for you.

    If you enjoyed this article, please share below: